Us and Them
Vocals: Page (lead), All (backing)
Original Artist: Pink Floyd
Original Album: Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
Historian: Mark Toscano
Dark Side of the Moon’s most elegant and ethereal tune was possibly Phish’s biggest challenge at the 11/2/98 ‘E’ Centre show, even more than the elusive structure of “On the Run” or the languid slither of “Breathe.” The original track is alternately impassioned and lilting, and was a harsh test of Phish’s ability to imbue their performance with the proper degree of earnest emotion.
Well, they played it fine, but it lacked a certain oomph. Also, their arrangement cut the song short by a few minutes by excising a full measure each verse and truncating the piano/sax solos found on the original, the longest track on DSOTM. Page’s verse vocals were appropriately small, and they even cleverly mimicked the echo effect of each verse’s first word by having Page, Mike, and Trey repeat the word a few times each in succession.